Shelton police officer who saw black bear: “It was a big boy’

(File photo of a black bear from the state DEEP website)

(File photo of a black bear from the state DEEP website)

A Shelton police officer got within 30 feet or so of the black bear that has been spotted since Thursday morning at different Shelton locations.

“He was a big boy,” said the officer, who was close to the bear as part of a monitoring effort in the vicinity of Long Hill Cross Road on Thursday early evening.

The bear would run away from people, which is considered a good sign because it means this bear is less likely to eventually have direct contact with humans. “It was scared,” the officer said.

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Click below to see a photo taken of the bear on Wesley Drive in Shelton on Thursday morning:

www.sheltonherald.com/67504/photo-bear-spotted-in-near-home-in-shelton-on-thursday

What to do and not do if you see a bear:

State agency: What to do and not to do when it comes to bears

How common are bears in CT and in Shelton; click below:

How common are bears in Connecticut and in Shelton?

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Shelton police officers and state environmental conservation (EnCon) officers tracked and watched the bear’s activity for a period in the fields and open areas on lower Long Hill Cross Road, between Bridgeport Avenue and the Route 8 highway.

 

Bears can travel distances quickly

Shelton-PoliceLogoSmallA few hours later, a report came in that the bear was seen near Outback Steakhouse, in the Center at Split Rock shopping complex at Bridgeport Avenue and Old Stratford Road, but police and EnCon officers couldn’t find the bear at that time.

That was the last reported sighting of the bear in Shelton, with none on Friday so far.

Black bears can travel long distances, which makes it uncertain where the bear now is. Young male bears, usually born in the prior spring and therefore slightly more than 1 years old, often move around as they go out on their own.

 

First seen on Wesley Drive

The first sighting of the bear in Shelton was on Wesley Drive (a road off upper Buddington Road, near Huntington Street) on Thursday morning,. That was followed by a report it was on Mill Street near Bridgeport Avenue, about an hour later.

This map shows the location of Wesley Drive, which is near Buddington Road (on bottom) and Huntington Street (on left) in Shelton. Wesley Drive is a dead-end in the upper right. Some short roads on or near Wesley Drive are not shown on this map.

This map shows the location of Wesley Drive, which is near Buddington Road (on bottom) and Huntington Street (on left) in Shelton. Wesley Drive is a dead-end in the upper right. Some short roads on or near Wesley Drive are not shown on this map.

The bear’s travels indicate it’s generally been heading east and slightly south. It would have to cross Route 8 to continue in that direction, toward Stratford, and could do that via a road that goes under or over the highway or by crossing the actual highway.

Based on reported sightings, the bear’s path so far has taken it across some well-traveled streets, including Buddington Road, Bridgeport Avenue, Long Hill Cross Road, and Old Stratford Road.

 

State policy on bears

Bears are not automatically caught (by being tranquilized) and transported to more rural parts of the state, but can be allowed to remain in the wild as long as they don’t endanger any people.

Here is a statement from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on its bear policy:

“The probability of a bear attacking a human is exceptionally low. Therefore, the mere presence of a bear does not necessitate its removal.

Shelton-StateDeepLogo“However, the department may attempt to remove bears from urban locations when there is little likelihood that they will leave on their own and when they are in positions where darting is feasible.

“The department attempts to monitor bear activity in developed areas in coordination with local public safety officials. Coordination and cooperation with officials on the scene and local police officials is a key, critical ingredient in educating the public and assuring a safe, desirable outcome in such a situation.”

 

 

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